【英语中国】中方曾抱怨英国迎接李克强红地毯过短 Red carpet for China leader falls short

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所属分类:双语中国

2014-6-23 07:05

小艾摘要: When Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited London this week, he was expecting the kind of red carpet treatment befitting the leader of a world power who was scheduled to announce billions of pounds of tr ...
Red carpet for China leader falls short
When Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited London this week, he was expecting the kind of red carpet treatment befitting the leader of a world power who was scheduled to announce billions of pounds of trade deals.

However, after receiving the plans for Mr Li’s arrival, Beijing registered a complaint with Downing St because the red carpet being rolled out for the Chinese head of government at Heathrow airport was not up to scratch.

According to two officials involved in preparing the visit, China expressed concern that the red carpet from the steps of Mr Li’s aircraft to a VIP holding area was not long enough. “They saw a diagram of the arrangements at Heathrow and complained that the carpet was three metres too short,” said one official.

The complaint was lodged with Ed Llewellyn, David Cameron’s chief of staff, who is said to have told the Chinese official he had other things to worry about. “He said that he was sure the carpet would meet their requirements,” said the official, whose account was corroborated by several other people involved in organising the visit.

China was also reported to have threatened to cancel the visit if Mr Li were not allowed to meet the Queen – an honour usually reserved for heads of state. The meeting went ahead, but publicity around the incident drew a frosty response in Beijing.

Most countries are punctilious about the fine details of protocol around any overseas visit by a head of government or a head of state. But China’s concern about the Heathrow red carpet seems at odds with recent Communist party strictures designed to make its officials seem more humble and less concerned about the trappings of office.

Perhaps the most prominent policy of the current Chinese administration since it officially took power in March last year has been its campaign against “formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance”.

In December 2012, the Communist party published its “eight point regulations”, the first of which specifically bans red carpets, welcome banners, floral arrangements and grand receptions for Chinese officials travelling domestically on official business.

The fourth of eight regulations requires officials travelling overseas to restrict the size of their delegations and avoid large receptions at the airport on their arrival.

In a written statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said: “The British side closely co-ordinated with the Chinese side in the reception organisation and visit results, took the initiative in making considerate arrangements and made great efforts to ensure the full success of Premier Li’s visit. The Chinese side expresses its appreciation.”

Downing St refused to comment on the red carpet incident, but one official said “the size of the business deals” discussed during the visit – about £18bn in total – were of more importance.

On the second day of Mr Li’s visit, a Chinese newspaper controlled by the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s main mouthpiece, derided Britain as a “narrow-minded”, “prejudiced”, “petty” “declining empire”.

Sino-British relations are particularly sensitive to Chinese leaders because of a legacy of gunboat diplomacy, colonialism and opium wars in which the UK is regarded as the chief culprit.

While this history is not widely studied in the UK, virtually every Chinese schoolchild can recite the atrocities and outrages imposed on China by Britain during the “century of humiliation” that predated “liberation” by the Communist party in 1949.

中国总理李克强上周访问伦敦的时候,他预计英国将按照接待一个即将宣布数十亿英镑贸易协议的世界大国领导人的规格,铺上红地毯迎接。

然而,在收到英方的接待计划后,北京方面向唐宁街提出了抱怨,因为在希斯罗机场用来迎接中国总理的红地毯没有达到标准。

两位参与了接待事宜的英国官员表示,中方抱怨从李克强专机阶梯到贵宾等候区的红地毯不够长。其中一位官员称:“他们看到希斯罗机场接待安排的示意图后抱怨称,红地毯的长度太短,还缺3米。”

中方向英国首相戴维?卡梅伦(David Cameron)的幕僚长黎伟略(Ed Llewellyn)提交了抱怨,据说后者告诉中国官员,他还有其他事情要操心。上述英国官员表示:“黎伟略说,他确信红地毯将符合中方要求。”这一说法得到了其他多名参与接待安排的人士的证实。

此前还有报道称,中国威胁说,如果李克强见不到英国女王——这是通常为国家元首准备的规格——就会取消此次访问。会晤得到了安排,但此事被公诸于众让北京方面不快。

多数国家都会一丝不苟地对待政府首脑或国家元首对外访问的礼宾细节。但中国对希斯罗机场红地毯的担忧,似乎与共产党不久前发布的让官员保持低调和不张扬的指令不太相符。

本届中国政府自去年3月正式上台以来最著名的政策,或许是其发起的反对“形式主义、官僚主义、享乐主义和奢靡之风”的运动。

2012年10月,中共发布八项规定,第一条明确禁止在国内的公务接待中铺红地毯、悬挂欢迎旗帜、摆放鲜花和超标准。

八项规定的第四项要求访问海外的官员严格控制出访随行人员,一般不安排中资机构、华侨华人、留学生代表等到机场迎送。

中国外交部在一份书面声明中表示:“英方在接待事宜和访问结果上与中方密切合作,主动周到安排,为确保李克强总理访问取得圆满成功做出了巨大努力。中方对此表示感谢。”

唐宁街拒绝就红地毯事件置评,但一位官员表示,访问期间讨论的“商业协议规模”(总额约180亿英镑)更重要。

在李克强访英的第二天,中共机关报《人民日报》旗下的一家报纸指责英国“小家子气”、“存在偏见”,“搞小动作”,是一个“正在衰落的老牌帝国”。

由于炮舰外交、殖民主义和鸦片战争遗留的影响,中英关系对中国领导人来说尤为敏感。英国被视为鸦片战争的罪魁祸首。

尽管英国学生没有广泛学习这段历史,但几乎每个中国学生都能历数1949年共产党“解放”中国之前的“百年屈辱”期间英国对中国施加的暴行。

译者/何黎

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